News

Medicare Reverses Denial Of Costly Treatment For Hepatitis C Patient

Walter Bianco, an Arizona man denied access to new drugs to cure his hepatitis C infection, will get the costly medications after all.
After Kaiser Health News and NPR described his plight in a story that aired Monday, federal Medicare officials said they would look into the case. Bianco’s appeal of an earlier denial had been rejected by WellCare, a private insurer that contracts with the federal program to provide drug coverage. The insurer rejected coverage saying the combined use of the costly new drugs has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration — even though two doctors’ groups had recommended the protocol in cases like Bianco’s. Washington Post (05/16/14)

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National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Q&A With ACG President Dr. Harry Sarles

American College of Gastroenterology President Harry E. Sarles Jr., MD, FACG, answers questions about colorectal cancer awareness and what the ACG is doing to improve awareness and screening rates during this National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Becker’s ASC (3/10)

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7 Gastroenterologists on Benchmarking & Colonoscopy Quality

Seven gastroenterologists from across the United States share how they are using benchmarking to improve colonoscopy quality. Includes: GIQuIC President Dr. Irving M. Pike. Beckers ASC (3/28/14)

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Routine colonoscopy screenings cut risk of colon cancer

Colon cancer is the third most-common cancer diagnosis in the United States. If it goes undetected for too long, it can be a killer.

“We are talking about 150,000 people who will develop colon cancer this year, and 50,000 are going to die from it,” says Dr. Arnold Levy, the president and CEO of Capital Digestive Care.

Levy says a colonoscopy is the gold standard among cancer tests. It is a terrific diagnostic tool and a measure of prevention. During the procedure, doctors can detect and remove polyps — benign growths on the wall of the colon that can become a breeding ground for cancer. WTOP (3/7/14)

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Colonoscopy Prep Tips: What Doctors Tell Their Friends

Colonoscopy is the most widely used screening test for colon cancer, which is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers. More than 50,000 Americans die from the disease every year. Colon cancer almost always begins as abnormal growths called polyps, which can be detected and removed during a colonoscopy, dramatically lowering your risk of developing the disease.

ACG President Dr. Harry Sarles is interviewed. Reader’s Digest (2/18)

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A New Kind of Transplant Bank

Nearly a year ago, Mark Smith, a 27-year-old doctoral candidate, and three colleagues launched OpenBiome, the nation’s first human stool bank. Its mission: to provide doctors with safe, inexpensive fecal material from screened donors to treat patients with Clostridium difficile, a gastrointestinal infection that kills at least 14,000 Americans a year. New York Times (2/17)

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Three Groups Miss Out on Colon Cancer Survival Gains, Study Says

Survival rates for white and Asian patients with advanced colon cancer have improved significantly, but the benefits haven’t extended to blacks and Hispanics, according to an American Cancer Society study. Healthday News (2/14)

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Frequency, cost of inpatient constipation cases rising in US

The increased frequency and rising costs associated with constipation diagnoses represent an escalating burden on the health care system, according to new data published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.  Healio (2/11)

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Follow-Up Colonoscopy: Effect of Bowel Cleansing Quality on Recommendations

In recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers examined the effect of bowel cleanse quality on adherence to the recommendation. The researchers examined quality of colon cleansing among 1,387 follow-up colonoscopy patients. Becker’s ASC (2/10)

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Quinoa May Be Safe Grain for People With Celiac Disease

Quinoa was well-tolerated by the patients and did not worsen their condition, according to the findings published Jan. 21 in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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